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July 16, 2005 - Drive to Luz St. Sauvuer

Ride Luz Ardiden









TDF 2005 148


When we woke up this morning, it was raining out. Rain is something we have been very lucky with on this trip as other than on the first day on the Col de Tamie, we haven’t seen much rain. Since it was wet, we decided to take our time, eat breakfast and then look into doing some laundry. Luckily we found a laundromat run by a nice woman who took all our clothes and did our laundry.  One of the things we never got used to was eating breakfast in Lourdes since breakfast meant it was time for the morning service at the cathedral and all the sick and invalid would be wheeled by. The worst were seeing the children.

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TDF 2005 150

Luz St Sauveur was a nice small typically Pyrenean town. The drive from Lourdes took us once again south of the city towards Spain though some beautiful mountain scenery.


Luz Ardiden is a ski area situated just east of Luz St Sauveur and it looks out towards the Tourmalet to the West across the valley.  The road is fairly consistently steep from the bottom to the top. It is both annlying and interesting to see the kilometer signs signaling another 8+% gradient as you are climbing. The road above the treeline is spectacular and would be phenomenal to watch a tour stage from the top as you could really see the race develop.

This was the climb where Lance crashed in 2003 after snagging a musette bag strap.

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The ski area was deserted, but it must be quite spectacular in the winter time.  It was interesting as you neared the top to have to steer diagonally across the steel grates in the road that are designed to keep the cows from walking down/up the road.

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Hey Paul, What kind of rock formation is that?


We decided to take a few action shots while we were at the top. Here is Tom to the left and Doug and Paul down below.

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After riding back down the mountain, we stopping in Luz St Sauveur to have lunch.


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Since we were back in Lourdes fairly early, we decided to get cleaned up and head down to one of the bars on the street near our hotel to have some wine and relax. As usual, Tom picked out a stellar bottle ….. which didn’t last too long!

Below is Tom posing in front the awesome Trek Travel van .. cough!?%^!


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Luz Ardiden Ride

Luz Ardiden


Total Ascent Distance: 16.2 km (9.7 miles)

Distance Climbed: 3320 ft

Time: 1 Hours 25Minutes (Ascent)